Rams to LA; When They Build It, Will Carroll Go?
Rams to LA; When They Build It, Will Carroll Go?

Steve Rudman (SportsPress NorthWest)

National Football League owners Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a relocation plan by the St. Louis Rams to move to the Los Angeles area, which includes building a stadium in Inglewood. The approval also provides an option for the San Diego Chargers to join the Rams if they can reach a lease agreement with the Rams by January 2017.

If the Rams and Chargers can’t work something out, the Oakland Raiders, who left Los Angeles in 1995, will have the option to join the Rams. Both franchises have tried without success to strike deals with their cities to replace the oldest stadiums in the NFL.

The Rams begin play in Los Angeles in 2016, but will not move into their new Inglewood home, a $1.8 billion project on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track largely funded by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, until the 2019 season. They will play in the interim at the Los Angeles Coliseum, their former home. The franchise resided in Southern California from 1946-94 before moving to St. Louis.

A Chargers-Raiders partnership that would have put those teams in a stadium in Carson, CA., was the other proposal under consideration. It drew a modicum of early support from league owners, but ultimately failed to pass.

Had the Chargers and Raiders moved to LA, it would have forced a league realignment to make sure two AFC West teams didn’t play in the same market and in the same stadium.

Such a development could have sent the Seahawks, or another NFC West team, to the AFC West to balance it out. The Seahawks played in the AFC West from 1977-02. Now, there is no need for realignment.

The vote to relocate the Rams to where they were 21 years ago, was passed by a 30-2 margin, but needed the approval only of 24 of the league’s 32 owners.

The Rams remain in the NFC West, meaning that the Seahawks will have one less 10 a.m. kickoff time and one less road trip to the Central time zone. But there is a potential long-term downside for the Seahawks franchise.

One team in Los Angeles, and perhaps a second by 2017, could serve as a lure for coach Pete Carroll to return to Los Angeles, just as his former Trojans assistant, Steve Sarkisian, departed his head coaching gig at Washington two years ago to the take the job at USC.

Carroll, a San Francisco native, coached the Trojans from 2001-09 and won two national championships before moving to Seattle. Even while coaching the Seahawks, Carroll has never disguised his loyalty to the Trojans, nor his affection for Los Angeles.

That’s a ways off. Carroll, who has been in Seattle since 2010, has a year remaining on his contract with the Seahawks, where he works for Paul Allen, the wealthiest owner in sports. The Rams have Jeff Fisher under contract. At 64, Carroll might be working his final coaching job.

If not, one or two teams eager for a splash in the nation’s second-largest television market, where he was nicknamed in his USC days as “king of Los Angeles,” could be a dramatic way to finish up.

Year Date Team Opp. QI Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
1992Dec. 20VikingsSteelers0006Min 6-3
1993Sept. 19BrownsRaiders00019Clev 19-16
1993Nov. 21GiantsEagles0007NYG 7-3
1993Dec. 12BillsEagles00010Buff 10-7
1994Oct. 2FalconsRams0008Atl 8-5
1997Sept. 7PanthersFalcons0009Car 9-6
1999Sept. 19SeahawksBears00014Sea 14-13
2003Sept. 21Browns49ers00013Clev 13-12
2005Sept. 19RedskinsCowboys00014Wash 14-13
2013Sept. 29CardinalsBucs00013AZ 13-10
2016Jan. 10SeahawksVikings00010Sea 10-9


Note that the Seahawks also won Sept. 19, 1999, when they rallied from a 13-0 fourth-quarter deficit and defeated the Chicago Bears 14-13 at Soldier Field. Seattle's quarterback that day: Glenn Foley, who threw TDs of 34 and 49 yards to Derrick Mayes and Fabien Bownes, respectively.

In their 40 seasons, the Seahawks have played 656 games, regular season and playoffs. In only one other contest did the Seahawks win -- home or away -- when they failed to score in the first three quarters. That game was Nov. 27, 1994 in the Kingdome, when Rick Mirer rallied Seattle from a 6-0 fourth-quarter deficit to a 10-9 victory over Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs.

No wonder Sherman knelt, Bennett prayed and Thomas jumped for joy. They were part of a win unique in NFL playoff history.

Comeback Carroll

Since he became Seattle's head coach in 2010, Pete Carroll has coached the Seahawks in 11 playoff games. Sunday's win was his eighth, and in five of those -- four with Wilson at quarterback — the Seahawks had to overcome a deficit of at least eight points.

Carroll's five comeback wins from a deficit of eight or more points is the most by any head coach in league history, breaking a tie with New England's Bill Belichick, who has won four playoff games after the Patriots trailed by eight or more. Carroll’s rallies:

Year Date Round Opponent Deficit Result
2010Jan. 8Wild cardSaints10 (17-7)Won 41-36 at the Clink
2012Jan. 6Wild cardRedskins14 (14-0)Won 24-14 at FedEx Field
2014Jan. 19Conf. champ49ers10 (10-0)Won 23-17 at the Clink
2015Jan. 18Conf. champPackers16 (16-0)Won 28-22 in overtime
2016Jan. 10Wild cardVikings9 (9-0)Won 10-9 at Minneapolis


You probably don't need a reminder that Belichick's fourth such victory came against the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Seattle led by 10 before losing 28-24.

Wilson's four, fourth-quarter comeback wins are the most in the NFL playoffs since he entered the league in 2012. Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick each have two.

Finally, the would-be tackler that Wilson dodged to avoid a sack on the 35-yard completion to Lockett was the aforementioned Captain Munnerlyn — the only one to record a pick six against Wilson (Oct. 7, 2012, for Carolina).


2015 NFC Wild Card Game - Seahawks 10, Vikings 9 Recap

The Seattle Seahawks were held scoreless through three quarters, came back from being down 9-0 and ended up winning on a missed field goal by the Minnesota Vikings' Blair Walsh, beating the Vikings by a score of 10-9 in what was the third-coldest playoff game in NFL history with a temperature of negative-six degrees at kickoff.

In the frigid conditions, Seattle's offense could not finish drives, turning the ball over on downs twice near scoring territory and giving the Vikings good field position for starting drives on multiple occasions. Minnesota took advantage of field position, scoring field goals on drives of 25, 28 and 19 net yards gained. Walsh connected on field goals of 22, 43, and 47 yards, giving Minnesota a 9-0 lead by the end of the third quarter.

On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Seattle drove 80 yards and Russell Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin on a three-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 9-7, Vikings. On the ensuing Minnesota possession, Kam Chancellor forced an Adrian Peterson fumble, which Ahtyba Rubin recovered for Seattle at the Minnesota 40-yard line. Steven Hauschka made a 46-yard field goal to give Seattle the 10-9 lead with 8:04 remaining in the game.

On Minnesota's final drive of the game, Teddy Bridgewater started with the ball on the Vikings' 39-yard line and drove 52 yards setting up a 27-yard field goal attempt. Walsh's kick missed wide left with 0:22 remaining, returning the ball to the Seahawks and sealing the 10-9 Seattle victory. Adrian Peterson was held to 45 yards on 23 carries on the day.


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